Storing one's smartphone-shot photos and videos for the super-long-term

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There's an interesting article by Matt Asay over at The Register today, acknowledging that many of us take most of our memories on smartphone cameras and wondering where best to upload them for truly long term (for 'our children') storage and re-presentation. The fact that Matt's piece is focussed around Facebook as an initial idea is somewhat misleading (unless you really want all your photos downsized to pseudo-VGA!) but bear with it, because the multi-page comment thread that follows it is fascinating.

From the piece:

While it may be true that the web has an infinitely long memory, I'm struggling to figure out where to store pictures and anecdotes from the lives of my children.

Given how quickly fashions change on the web - from MySpace to Facebook to Instagram to Twitter - it's hard to believe that anything, no matter how dominant it is today, will still be around in 20 years, much less two years. For those of us who want to collect memories in a somewhat central place, this is a problem.


With many Nokia-made smartphones we have a great camera with us all the time. Most of us upload a large proportion of our digital output to Twitter, Facebook and SkyDrive, to name but three. Yet all three systems, by default, reduce the quality of our uploads and have no guarantee of permanence, at least not beyond the current decade.

The old-school way of doing things is to have a local copy of all JPGs and MP4 videos on a local hard disk, usually on our PC or Mac. Then do a backup of these folders onto another hard disk or into a cloud disk or onto various numbers of DVD-R. None of these will last for decades, but they're lossless and so we can copy the media onto new storage technologies as they come along. 

Then there's really old school, printing off photos and so forth, but perhaps we'd better try and keep things lossless and digital, so let's not go there!

So, the question remains, where should we upload our smartphone-shot memories? How should we preserve them for posterity? I'd welcome your thoughts and comments here.

Source / Credit: The Register